Dairy-free Spiced Pumpkin Pie and Chocolate Pumpkin Baked Doughnuts

In October, we lug home golden pumpkins and red-skinned apples from the markets and transform them into a sideboard of sweets for a Canadian Thanksgiving celebration.

The correlation between Thanksgiving baking and cooler fall temperatures is no coincidence. My kitchen begins heating up with crimped pies and tender cakes right around the time our evening walks start requiring scarves and sweaters. It’s a good balance.

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Variations on Yeast Doughnuts


What would you say if I told you I made doughnuts twice in one week?
Well, I did, and there aren’t any left.

The coffee-glazed were the highlight of a recent Easter brunch, but not super kid-friendly.


These maple-glazed, sprinkles-topped were much more popular with the three-year-old’s at a weekend birthday party.


And perhaps the best of all (Danny’s favorite, anyway) were the very grown-up Bacon-Topped Maple Glazed Yeast Doughnuts.
(I know, right?!)


All doughnuts were variations on a superb basic yeast doughnut recipe from the fabu-tastic Gourmet Today cookbook, a.k.a. my new best friend.

I’ve tried the recipe twice–just to be double sure I can recommend it to my readers, you know. I taste-tested many of the results and well, as promised, here is the recipe.

You must try these doughnuts! Mix up the dough the evening before, let it rise over night in the refrigerator, then roll and fry in the morning. It’s very little work and believe me, your hubby’s going to love you.


Coffee-Glazed Doughnuts

slightly adapted from Gourmet Today which has this to say:

“For these doughnuts, an ethereal yeast dough is fried and then coated with a bracing coffee glaze. The result is a bit like having your morning cup of joe and a pastry in one incredible bite. Let the dough rise overnight in the refrigerator, and you’ll wake up to something truly special.”

Makes about 12 doughnuts


1 (1/4-ounce) package (2-1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm water
3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for sprinkling
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, salted
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

About 6 cups vegetable oil for deep-frying

Coffee or Maple glaze (Recipes below)

Special equipment:
Stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment
a 3-inch round cookie cutter
a 1-inch round cookie cutter
a deep-fat thermometer

Stir together yeast and warm water in a small bowl until yeast is dissolved. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes (If yeast doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)

Combine flour, milk, butter, yolks, sugar, salt and cinnamon in mixer bowl, add yeast mixture, and mix at low speed until a soft dough forms. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 3 minutes.

Scrape dough from sides of bowl into centre and sprinkle lightly with flour, to keep a crust from forming. Cover bowl with a kitchen towel and let dough rise in a warm draft-free place until doubled in bulk, 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
Alternatively, let dough rise in refrigerator for 8 to 12 hours.


Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 12-inch round. Cut out as many rounds as possible with 3-inch cutter, cut a hole in centre of each round with 1-inch cutter, and transfer doughnuts to a lightly floured large baking sheet (or use a doughnut cutter to shape them, as I did)

Cover doughnuts with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm draft-free place until slightly puffed, about 30 minutes (45 minutes if dough was refrigerated).

Heat 2-1/2 inches oil in a 4-quart deep heavy pot until it registers 350F on thermometer. Fry doughnuts 2 at a time, turning occasionally with a wire skimmer or a slotted spoon, until puffed and golden brown, about 2 minutes per batch. Transfer to paper towels to drain. (Return oil to 350F between batches.)
Allow to cool completely before glazing.

Coffee Glaze:
1/4 cup boiling water
5 teaspoons instant espresso powder, such as Medaglia d’Oro or instant coffee granules
1-1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Stir together boiling water and espresso powder in a medium bowl until espresso powder is dissolved. Stir in confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, and salt until smooth.
Set a rack on a baking sheet. Dip doughnuts into glaze, turning to coat well, and put on rack.

Maple Glaze:
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 Tablespoons corn syrup
1 Tablespoon water
(optional: few drops maple flavoring)

Whisk everything together in a small bowl until smooth. Set a rack on a baking sheet. Dip doughnuts into glaze, turning to coat well, and put on rack.

I love Gourmet’s suggestions for how the doughnuts are to be enjoyed; basically, consume them as fast as possible.
“The doughnuts are best eaten right after they are fried, but they are still great several hours later and very good for the rest of the day.

I seriously doubt you’ll have any left after brunch.

Doughnuts & Coffee: Wish You Were Here

Sourdough Cinnamon Doughnuts with a Latte

As a young girl growing up in the wild, northern, Yukon Territories, I didn’t know the whole history behind the term ‘sourdough’ and how it traced back to the Klondike Gold Rush, but I did know that I loved sourdough bread and baking. Those days, one of the biggest treats we could be allowed to make were sourdough doughnuts—just the combination of sugar and fat was enough to make my mother cringe and make me jump up and down with anticipation.I recently dug up that old recipe from an even older cookbook that my mother started when she got married, and decided to give it a shot. Boy was I glad I did! There is only a slight ‘sour’ taste, but enough to give these delicious treats a uniqueness you certainly won’t find at Dunkin.
These doughnuts contain both yeast (in the sourdough starter) and baking powder, so they are right in the middle of a cake doughnut and a yeast. Even if you have a strong preference for one or the other, either way, you will love these.
Not that it should be a problem, but they are best eaten the day they are made. I can’t tell you how many of these I ate while I was photographing them…I’m embarrassed. Sure it was a trip down memory lane, but it was a really loooong trip–and I’m not that old yet!As I looked at the platter of doughnuts, I had to resist to urge to run out of the house, down the street, bang on all my neighbors doors and say “You HAVE to taste these!”
What a shame, there was no one at home to share them with. And let me tell you, warm from the pan, coated in vanilla sugar, you should have been here. Fortunately, a friend dropped in later with her two little girls and we enjoyed them with some spiced chai.
These tiny doughnut holes are perfect for little fingers….

Fresh from the oil

Dressed up with vanilla sugar

Sourdough Starter

2 cups flour
2 cups lukewarm water
1 tablespoon yeast

Mix well in a large bowl. Cover and let sit overnight in a warm place.

Sourdough Cinnamon Doughnuts

½ cup sourdough
2 Tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sour milkPrepare a wok or deep fryer for frying. Prepare a tray with paper towel for draining doughnuts. Heat oil to 360 degrees.
Sift dry ingredients together. Mix remaining ingredients together and add to dry. Bring dough together gently with you hands. Sprinkle some flour onto a work surface and turn dough on to it. Knead it gently about 3 times to help bring the dough together. Roll out to a thickness of 2 centimeters and cut with a doughnut cutter.Fry until golden brown. Test the first one for doneness by breaking it in two and checking if the middle is doughy. Drain on paper town. Toss with vanilla sugar or cinnamon sugar to coat.Enjoy!